Steinfels ‘War Over Abortion’ and Notre Dame University

In a recent article in the New York Times by Peter Steinfels (“Roman Catholics’ War Over Abortion”, NYTimes, May 9, 2009) Steinfels attempts to “explain” the concerns of Roman Catholics over the invitation to President Obama to speak and receive an honorary doctorate degree at Notre Dame University by marginalizing that opposition. While his remarks may come off as classic dissident American Catholic and is a bit “tacky”, he is probably accurate to describe these efforts as exemplifying a “civil war” among American Catholics. And it’s about time … if not too late. Classic American Catholic dissent: all one has to do is observe the category for this Steinfels article in the New York Times: “Beliefs” — the effort being to frame the debates (which they always do so successfully) by assuring the readers that abortion is just a “belief”, that one only believes that abortion kills innocent human beings.